Given the intense competition and rigidity in China’s education system, an increasing number of Chinese middle-class families are moving to Thailand and putting their children in international schools there. Zaobao journalist Liu Liu speaks to families and academics to find out more about the factors behind this trend.
US President Joe Biden has done a creditable job in upgrading and reinvigorating America’s treaty alliances. Thailand, one of Washington’s oldest treaty allies in Asia, is an outlier. ISEAS senior fellow Ian Storey examines the reasons why the US is not closer to Thailand, especially in defence.
Along with the rise in Chinese students in Thailand, there have been discussions regarding the takeover of private universities by Chinese investors since 2019. The authorities need to put measures in place to ensure that standards are maintained.
The beleaguered construction and murky progress of the proposed Bangkok-Nong Khai high-speed railway are emblematic of deeper problems underlying Thailand’s and China’s infrastructural ambitions.
Thai academic Sittithep Eaksittipong explains how the Thai rulers of the past used emotion as a political tool to assimilate the Chinese overseas in Thailand. Fast forward to today and the Thai Chinese are more confident of their identity, and feeling Chinese has less to do with developments in China. If anything, the latter is used as a means to chastise the Thai government.
Because of China’s soft power, some Yunnanese Chinese in Northern Thailand — known as KMT Chinese and who are descendants of KMT supporters who left Yunnan and eventually settled in Northern Thailand — have gradually shifted from being pro-Taipei to being pro-Beijing. Out of the 110 private tutoring Yunnanese schools in Northern Thailand for instance, more than 40 have begun to accept Beijing’s support and modelled their school structure in accordance with PRC’s guidance. How many more converts can China's soft power yield?
Academic Ngeow Chow Bing takes stock of the "one China" policy of Southeast Asian countries, noting changes in interpretations over the years and their subtle differences from China's "one China" principle and the US's "one China" policy. He warns that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has exacerbated cross-strait tensions and could further limit Taiwan's international space in Southeast Asia.
The political environment in Asia has been marked with upheavals and instability. While each country has their own system of democratic elections in the modern sense, they appear to share a number of common themes that resembles the backward political practices of 19th century Europe. Academic Chen Liujun assesses the regional developments.
While descendants of older Chinese migrants in Thailand consider themselves Thai, hold Thai citizenship, and speak the language, new Chinese migrants tend to struggle when interacting with the locals due to the language barrier and negative stereotypes about foreign Chinese held by the locals. Their inability to integrate has led to the growth of parallel communities, where new Chinese migrants seek each other out for their social needs, instead of mingling with Thais. How can new Chinese migrants integrate better with the locals?